The Indian MEA has been characteristically muted in its criticism at the move. The statements by the Indian envoy to the United Nations, Hardeep Singh Puri: "The syndicate of terrorism, with intricate inter-connections, comprising al-Qaeda, elements of the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other terrorist groups that operate from within and outside Afghan borders are among the biggest threats from terrorism worldwide," as well as, "This is a scenario that we can ill-afford in our fight against terrorism," and "The process of listings as well as de-listings needs to be guided by the same set of principles - fairness, credibility and transparency." have been lost in the general din of the other statements carried on this issue by Indian and global media.
It does not help India's case that it is one of the 15 member of the Security Council to approve resolutions 1988 and 1989. The other notable voice opposed to this selective delisting was Russia.
The US State Department statement on the UNSC sanctions split is clearly a precursor to new negotiations with the Taliban: "Passage of UNSC Resolution 1988, which establishes the Afghanistan sanctions regime, is a tangible sign of support by the international community for Afghan reconciliation efforts. At the same time, the resolution contributes to ongoing efforts to combat the insurgency. The new regime will be an important tool to support the Government of Afghanistan’s efforts to reconcile with insurgents who are willing cut ties to international terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida, renounce violence, and respect Afghanistan’s constitution, including its protections for all Afghan women and men."
The comments of Susan Rice, US envoy to the United Nations were particularly telling, when she said, “Today’s action shows that the Security Council can adapt flexibly to evolving threats.” That this flexibility on terror comes at the cost of other nations, when it suits American interests is ironic.
Pussy footing by India against its interests both at issues as such international anti-terror regimes, as well as lack of engagement with the Taliban, will see India eventually reap a whirlwind in Kashmir and other theaters of potential India-Taliban conflict.
The US it must be noted has been traditionally delinquent where India's security needs are concerned and consequences for its actions should be across the board including defense purchases and voting for similar measures in the UN, in congruence with Indian interests rather than any notions of misplaced loyalty that are seldom reciprocated.
India and its foreign policy continue to be hobbled by crusty past positions that have either become defunct or in some cases even reversed. Instead of being lead by self interest, it is led by notions and bureaucratic precedent. Even when there is innovation in relations with the US, China or Pakistan, it is rendered stillborn due to an inability to communicate on the world stage, characterized by a poor understanding of media relations and strategic PR.
A quick visit to the MEA website for statements as well as press releases showed no press releases on the official Indian statement! The Press Information Bureau portal showed zero press releases from the MEA in the entire month of June till the date of posting this piece!